All Sorts of Weird Stuff offers news and information about George R.R. Martin, in particular about his A Song of Ice and Fire series.
"When I was young, I read all sorts of stuff. One week it would be Lovecraft, the next Vance. It was all imaginative literature, or as my dad called it 'Weird Stuff.' It was all 'Weird Stuff.'"
George R.R. Martin
New to the series? Read our spoiler-free review of A Game of Thrones.
Goodreads, the massive social book site, is running their annual Choice Awards, and wouldn’t you know it? A Dance with Dragons is on the shortlist, not just in Best Fantasy but also the overall Favorite Book of 2011 category. Many other fine works are on both lists, so checking it out (and voting!) is certainly a good idea if you want to support your favorite books of the last year.
As an aside, GRRM’s assistant Ty Franck and writer Daniel Abraham, who together write as James S.A. Corey, are also up for an award in the Best Science Fiction category with the novel Leviathan Wakes. Congratulations to the both of them—it’s well-deserved for a book that’s been quite well reviewed indeed.
During the weekend, news broke that SyFy Films (a joint venture of the SyFy Channel and Universal Studios) and had optioned theatrical and television rights to Wild Cards, the original shared-world superhero series concocted by George R.R. Martin and the Wild Cards Consortium of writers. We’ve done some digging, and we have a handful of additional details to share.
We’ve previously covered Mike the Pike Productions, who are developing George R.R. Martin‘s award-winning horror novella, “The Skin Trade” (found in Dreamsongs Volume 2, which also contains the first Dunk & Egg novella “The Hedge Knight”, set in Westeros, and many other excellent stories) for film. Now they’ve decided to ratchet up the visibility of the project by launching an official site.
The site offers hints as to the story and the production team currently in place, including noting that Filmworks FX—a post-production company that’s worked on Red Riding Hood, Knight and Day, The Tourist, and other Hollywood film projects—is on-board to handled VFX and is intimately involved at an unusually early stage in development.
Besides the official website, Mike the Pike Productions have also launched a Facebook Page—named Blackstone Manor, after a key location in the novella—which features news, updates, and the occasional query to readers. Right now, the page asks fans who they’d like to see direct The Skin Trade, and I’ve chimed in with British director Neil Marshall, who recently wrapped up filming on the penultimate episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones... and who first rose to the attention of horror fans thanks to his cult classic, Dog Soldiers.
The Hollywood Reporter exclusively reveals that Wild Cards had been optioned for development by Syfy Films—the theatrical division of the Syfy channel—and Universal Studios, with the screenplay set to be handled by there-from-the-start author Melinda Snodgrass, who (like GRRM) has TV writing experience.
An interesting interview at NY Magazine cropped up. It starts out discussing Game of Thrones—revealing for the first time that while Sean Bean may have been the first choice for Ned, the producers hedged their bets (probably due to uncertainty at the actor’s availabiity) by auditioning additional actors—but then shifts to some very interesting questions regarding A Dance with Dragons... particularly one bit in it which appears to have given Martin significant pause before he answered it. Hrm….
Well worth reading, and not just because Westeros.org and the in-progress World of Ice Fire world book are mentioned! Also, for those new to the site, this interview—and many, many others over the years—are linked at the So Spake Martin collection.
George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have once more teamed up as editors to put together a new, themed anthology, and it’s hit shelves today!
Down These Strange Streets (US Hardcover, UK Hardcover, US Kindle) features more than a dozen authors writing urban fantasy short stories, including such notables as Carrie Vaughn, Patricia Briggs, Diana Gabaldon, and Martin’s fellow HBO-adapted author, Charlaine Harris. Other contributors include Melinda Snodgrass, M.L.N. Hanover, Simon R. Green, and Lisa Tuttle.
A complete table of contents can be found below:
We posted a couple of weeks ago about NPR asking SF/F readers to vote on a very long list (237 finalists in total) so they could narrow it down to a Top 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy titles. The results are in, and it’s a great pleasure to see that George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series not only made the list, it went all the way to #5. Ahead of it were Frank Herbert’s Dune, Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and at #1, what else? J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
Congratulations to George, and to the other authors on the list, which is worth checking out (and lets give a special shoutout to Ursula K. Le Guin’s body of work, which really should have rated much higher, in our opinion… and may have done so, if only someone had thought to put the Earthsea quartet on the list!)
Well, if Tolkien got the Bored of the Rings treatment, why not? Once they start parodying you, you’ve hit a certain level of cultural currency.
According to The Wrap, Thomas Dunne Books have acquired the rights to A Game of Groans from pseudonymous author George R.R. Contanza. There’s a brief blurb of the novel attached to the report, which reads as follows:
Well, this is a nice surprise: according to George R. R. Martin’s post regarding this year’s Worldcon, Renovation, he’ll be reading an extract from the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series, The Winds of Winter. This, and many other items, are on GRRM’s schedule for the convention.
We suspect that the reading on Thursday (scheduled for 2 hours, though we suspect a Q&A is part of it) is going to feature a room filled to capacity.
For those who are primarily interested in the TV show, the Game of Thrones presentation panel was extended from one hour to two hours, so it can accomadate a special screening of George’s episode, “The Pointy End”... with commentary from the author himself! Wow. Besides that, David J. Peterson—creator of the Dothraki language for the show—will be on hand for panels and workshops related to language creation, including a presentation on Dothraki; his schedule can be found here.
Having twice attended Worldcon, we have to really recommend paying a visit—even if just for one day—to get a look at a science fiction convention as the SF fandom community have developed to a high (if sometimes eccentric) art form. Thousands of fellow fans, well-stocked dealers and art rooms, costuming galore, and (literally) hundreds of program items featuring writers, editors, fans, scientists, academics, and even the occasional actor or screenwriter—there’s nothing quite like Worldcon out there. The price may seem steep, but the value’s quite high. Not least if you just want to hang out with George, who we guarantee will be hanging out with the fans at the convention during the nightly floor parties thrown at the convention hotel; make sure not to miss the Brotherhood without Banners parties!
And if you can’t make it… well, I’m pretty sure the forum is going to feature reports regarding these events within hours (perhaps even minutes) of their conclusion. Keep an eye out!
George R.R. Martin and several Wild Cards authors—Melinda Snodgrass, Victor Milan, and John Jos. Miller.—will today be signing copies of Fort Freak and other Wild Cards books at Page 1 Books in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The signing will run from 2:30PM through to around 5PM. George notes on his “Not a Blog” that this is very much a Wild Cards event:
NO COPIES OF DANCE WITH DRAGONS WILL BE ON SALE! I may be able to autograph some of your Ice & Fire books, if time permits, but probably not more than one, and only with a purchase of FORT FREAK. And in the talk and the Q&A session, we’ll be talking about Wild Cards, not the new Ice & Fire book or the HBO show. Sorry, but to let GAME OF THRONES take over the session would not be fair to the other writers.
The latest entry in the Wild Cards series, co-created and edited by George R.R. Martin, is now available!
Containing contributions from old hands and members of the original Wild Cards Consortium—Melinda Snodgrass, Stephen Leigh, John Jos. Miller, and Victor Milán to name a few—as well as writers brand new to the Wild Cards universe such as Mary Anne Mohanraj, Campbell Award-winner David Anthony Durham, comic book and Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell, and more, it’s a look at life on the streets of Jokertown from the perspective of NYPD officers assigned to the eponymous “Fort Freak”, the headquarters for the police precinct responsible for the area. It really seems like a bit of a throwback to the early entries in the city, which focused on and were very much informed by life in New York City at the time.
The latest Wild Cards title, Fort Freak, is due on June 21st from Tor and the Wild Cards Trust ... and it looks like Tor has decided to promote it by releasing a full story: “The Rook”, by Melinda Snodgrass, one of the original founders of the Wild Cards universe!
It’s a fun read, really reminding us of some of the early novels in the feel and the focus on New York City as the location. The eponymous “Fort Freak” is the nickname for the 5th Police Precinct which is responsible for Jokertown, and which is the central setting of the novel.
Go ahead and check it out!
The auction items are now up on EBay (the descriptions including the text ‘Charity Auction for Joplin Disaster Relief’). GRRM, Neil Gaiman, and others have generously contributed signed books, collectibles, and more to do their part to help with the recent devastation in Joplin, Missouri following a series of devastating tornadoes.
Check it out, and please bid generously! Among the books available are a signed copy of A Game of Thrones, signed copies of various Wild Cards books and RPG supplements, and more.
George R.R. Martin has updated his official site with some an additional event date in “Appearances”, plus some new posts in “Not a Blog”. Of note is this post in which he gives a sneak peek at Valyrian Steel‘s warhammer for King Robert, designed to GRRM’s detailed specifications. That would certainly dent some steel and crack a few bones, we suspect…
Also, in this post, he shares a reminder that he will be signing at Hastings Books in Albuqerque, at 1:00PM, for the release of the Doorways graphic novel adapted by GRRM from his pilot script for a science fiction TV series he developed and which got as far as a pilot. The book, published by IDW, collects the six issue comic book series.
The Westeros network consists of several different sites, including a forum and a wiki, for all your A Song of Ice and Fire needs.